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45 comments

[–] Hollyhock 56 points (+56|-0)

Sigh. I also have concerns with restorative justice. 9 times out of 10, they expect the victim to play an active role in 'helping' the offender get better. No. The onus should be on the state...leave victims alone.

[–] DebraKadabra 22 points (+23|-1)

I have had training in restorative justice in high school settings. I'm not a stick in the mud and am willing to try any initiative that can help close the achievement gap or keep children engaged in academics in lieu of purely punitive and overly broad measures.

With the resources available to most public schools, restorative justice is not implementable. Trainings start out with a lot of sad stories and Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Yawn. That's term one of teacher-school. Ain't none of us teachers are unaware of the unfairness of our systems or are insensitive to the different circumstances which may affect our students.

Next we're given examples of restorative justice practices used by indigenous peoples the world over. What is it with university humanities departments and their appeals to the "noble savage"? Do they not realize they're doing this? Nod to the trans movement and their two-spirit go-to.

Then we get to role play how restorative justice plays out in our classroom and a video of a real example with interviews from both parties. The carrot at the end of the stick is a win-win-win-WIN outcome, and if you're an Office fan like me, you know what episode I'm talking about.

Now that I've seen restorative justice implemented at a handful of schools I can tell you what really happens - minority students with behavioral issues are kept in class to disturb the rest of the students because when they are sent up for disruptions they are just kicked right back into the classroom and teachers are told to "deal with it". Administrators do not have the bandwidth to actually initiate and complete the restorative justice practices that are needed, and teachers are left to do it themselves in-house. But the numbers of suspensions must go down, even if inauthentically.

The other thing that happens is that victims must take an active role in healing their bullies. I don't know how my previous school site managed to do so well with our anti-bullying program (pre-inclusivity) and then make this 180 degree turn.

My current school site has postponed restorative justice implementation due to COVID and I hope that contract runs out. It's hot garbage, sorry not sorry.

[–] Hollyhock 15 points (+15|-0)

Thank you so much - this is so helpful to hear from a teacher. I have children in public schools and the few times they've had to deal w/ restorative justice my head spun trying to understand how it was going to work - as girls, they were the victims in both cases and I was pretty disappointed in how it all went down as I felt they deserved to just be left alone and the boys should be moved from the classrooms - wishful thinking (one was a minority boy but from a well-to-do middle eastern family and the other was a white midwestern US boy w/ uber woke parents - both kids with parents who never bothered to discipline them in not treating girls like objects).

[–] DebraKadabra 9 points (+9|-0)

Thank you - and I feel so sorry for you as a parent in those situations. I'm continually frustrated because from the outset it is usually incredibly difficult to detect bullying behavior and sexual harassment from my position.

I have my practices that I implement that does a lot on the prevention end, but kids are sneaky. And they're also like cats, very good at hiding pain when it's gotten serious. So once you discover the issue and move up the chain, in my opinion it's a little too late for restorative practices - it's already been going on far too long.

I do my best to be in the corner of the victims. I'm not having it with parents' excuses for their boys, don't care what corner of Wokesville they come from.

[–] Hermione 4 points (+4|-0)

And this is why restorative justice gets nowhere. It’s not something you can do half-assed and often there are offenders you just can’t do it with at all.

It’s in the name. “Restore” - it’s meant to determine what the offender can do to repair the harm from their offense. It’s to get them to take responsibility for what they did and understand the implications and discourage them from ever doing it again. The victims are meant to be given a greater voice and feel less powerless and anxious.

And yet; the arseholes promoting it only focus on the “no punishment” part, and “no punishment” isn’t actually what it’s meant to be. It’s a different form of punishment.

Once again, an idea is hijacked, by woke idiots and MEN to work for themselves, and use it to gaslight girls and women into thinking that THEY are responsible and in the wrong.

[–] bossythecow 4 points (+4|-0)

One of my most upsetting and long-lasting memories from middle school was being relentlessly bullied by a girl who I then had to participate in a sort of "restorative justice" program with, and feeling absolutely abandoned by the adults who seemed more interested in ensuring my bully had the emotional support she needed than addressing the harm she had caused me.

Restorative justice can obviously be done better than that, but I still believe that putting the onus on victims to help heal their abusers is not helpful or just, IMO.

[–] DebraKadabra 3 points (+3|-0)

And considering the maturity level of middle schoolers - most of them just need hard boundaries - you pick on Bossy? Mandatory study hall. End of story.

[–] visits_radio 46 points (+46|-0)

Those 'feminism is for everyone' types also include and center male rapists.

[–] SamuraiGhostCat 46 points (+46|-0)

Just wanna take this moment to say that all male pedophiles and rapists deserve to die 🤷‍♀️

That’s all. Thank you & have a good terven day ☺️

[–] MeNsTrUaToR27 32 points (+32|-0)

Right like...I'm not really concerned with the poor pitiful bastards and how they turned their lives around and oh they'll never do it agaiiiin. I wanna know who's a sex offender so I can keep them away from the kids I know

[–] hmimperialtortie 21 points (+22|-1)

Absolutely. Death penalty for them all. No male judges to conduct rape trials.

[–] Hermione 3 points (+3|-0)

I was interested to see if female judges punished rape more then male ones, and to my surprise, there actually have been studies done.

This one I’m linking says that young female judges punish high harm crime more harshly than male or older female judges do. Interesting. Must read more.

Young Female Judges Punish High Harm Crimes More Harshly

[–] bossythecow 4 points (+4|-0)

As far as I'm concerned, if you abuse children, you forfeit your right to be in community with others. You have proven that you cannot respect the dignity and boundaries of the most vulnerable among us, ergo you are not fit for society. Come at me, bro.

[–] hmimperialtortie 3 points (+3|-0) Edited

As far as I'm concerned, if you abuse children, you forfeit your right to be in community with others. breathe.

[–] lucrecia 36 points (+36|-0)

"When a sex offender succeeds in living in the community, we are all safer.” “Spencer,” a pedophile who has sought psychological help for his attraction to children and has not offended, told Slate "It doesn’t protect children to have a stigmatized group of outcasts living on the fringe of society."

[...]

Considering this, the rhetoric about “stranger danger” obfuscates the real causes of sexual violence by playing on fears of the outsider rather than focusing prevention efforts on families and communities.

Make up your mind.

[–] bellatrixbells 13 points (+14|-1)

Hmm. Someone's mixing apples and oranges.

It is a problem in our society that young men who realize they have pedophiliac tendencies have a hard time seeking help because of the stigma. Some reported being kicked out by psychiatrists with whom they sought help.

It certainly doesn't help if they are simply being pushed to the outside and left to fend for themselves... We all know what this does.

But that's not an argument for letting them roam free and anonymous in society and basically trust them blindly around children.

Wtf.

[–] Womancup 7 points (+7|-0)

Chemical castration seems to be the answer (aka puberty blockers)

[–] bellatrixbells 2 points (+3|-1)

It does, though I remember reading not too long ago that researchers had found a correlation between a head injury in childhood and pedophiliac tendencies. I wonder if it could effectively be overcome :O

[–] Carrots90 7 points (+7|-0)

Yeah. Make ‘Spencer and Chester’ friends to your child and they won’t be harmed by strangers

[–] Hermione 2 points (+2|-0)

Damn good point!

They’re not reconciling 3 truths here;

1) a victim is far more likely to be victimized by someone they know who is also in a position of power somehow. People need to focus on preventing this more.

2) sex offenders being on the outskirts doesn’t mean they are actually isolated from people and thus less able to do harm. They’ll just be preying on the even more vulnerable, living with impoverished, or drug addicted or unstable people near their kids, etc. They will be less supervised and less on the radar.

3) male sex offenders are more likely to offend when they are stressed, and if they are under supervised and have little to lose, they are more likely to offend. Being on the registry will increase stress. BUT We all deal with stress, it can’t be entirely prevented, so they need more supervision.

I believe treatment for some sex offenders can indeed be effective. It’s not a cure, but does reduce offending. It should be available to offenders.

However, people have a right to know if someone is a danger to themselves or their children, and this right supersedes the rights of an offender to privacy and protection from stigma.

If the stress of being on the registry is so strong they are more likely to reoffend, they should perhaps be in a secure facility. There are other forms of severe stress outside of the registry they could easily face as well.

Plus, it’s not just about how to best control and/or rehabilitate an offender. It is also to increase the peace of mind for the victims and to protect their sense of security and support of others.

[–] Lady_Merlin 28 points (+28|-0)

I do agree with two points. We should focus community resources on healing the victims of sexual violence and people children, and adults, know well, are the greatest risk to them. My stepbrothers were the ones that molested me. All the education I ever got was about stranger danger; nobody told me what to do when my family was hurting me.

[–] DebraKadabra 21 points (+21|-0)

I'm not interested in rehabilitating this segment of the population. I don't think they should be driven to homelessness - I think they should be kept in a facility for life.

Full text:

In October, the Supreme Court heard a case that was painfully ironic, considering the Kavanaugh hearings the nation had just been subjected to: a challenge to the United States’ extremely restrictive sex offender registry laws.

While opinions on the case Gundy v. United States, which challenges the Attorney General’s ability to retroactively impose registry requirements, have yet to come out, debate around sex offender registries is particularly important in the wake of #metoo.

Established in the ‘90s following several high-profile rapes and murders of children, the sex offender registry used parental grief to propagate “tough on crime” policies. Registries were initially framed as mechanisms to protect children from sexual abuse by imposing severe and often lifelong housing, work, and even internet restrictions on people found guilty of sexual violence. The public nature of the registry was intended to help parents protect their children against “sexual predators” in their communities. Today, sex offender registries include people convicted of a wide range of sex-related offenses and even some non-sexual ones, from public urination to rape.

But there’s a problem: sex offender registries don’t work.

Despite the promise that harsh treatment would decrease sex crimes, research has found sex offender registries to be ineffective in preventing recidivism while at the same time creating other problems, like high rates of homelessness among former offenders. At a more principled level, sex offender registries and systems like them (which effectively punish some people for life even beyond time served) violate what ought to be a fundamental principle of feminist justice: that punishment is finite and that rehabilitation is possible.

Understanding the feminist argument against sex offender registries is particularly important right now, in the wake of a global #metoo movement that has prompted difficult, important questions about justice and the possibility of genuine accountability. What’s more, American-style sex offender registries have a disproportionate global impact, with India currently in the process of establishing a registry that holds immense possibility for abuse. As #metoo challenges us to think beyond punitive modes of addressing sexual violence and toward restorative and transformative approaches, we need to understand why a system that purports to be “tough on sexual violence” is fundamentally anti-feminist. Here are some of the major feminist critiques of sex offender registries.

Registries don’t help prevent recidivism, and may even make it more likely.

Sex offender registries are based on the idea of the “sexual predator” as someone who is inherently evil and will always reoffend. Yet research doesn’t show this to be the case.

The notion that people who commit sexual crimes reoffend at a uniquely high rate is persistent, yet definitively false. Numerous studies suggest that the number of people convicted of sex crimes who end up being re-arrested for a sexual offense hovers around 3.5%. While it’s true that sexual violence is massively underreported, this is still a far lower rate of reoffending than popularly believed.

In fact, in contrast to what registry supporters argue, one 2011 study found that sex offender registries actually increase the likelihood of recidivism by about 1.6%, largely due to the effects of social isolation, inequality, and homelessness caused by strict residence restrictions. This data is so convincing, numerous states are rolling back residency restrictions on people convicted of sex offenses. Meanwhile, rights organizations like the ACLU and Human Rights Watch argue against the broad use of sex offender registries and recommend that states should severely limit sex offender registries, remove restrictions on offenders’ mobility and residency, and restrict public disclosure of offender status.

Registries don’t center victims’ needs.

As many feminists have argued, a major problem with punitive approaches to sexual violence like the sex offender registry is that they tend to ignore survivors’ needs in favor of a single-minded focus on perpetrators’ misdeeds. As our own Alexandra has written, survivors have concrete, material needs (healthcare, housing, counseling, paid time off) that punitive approaches to justice—while they may make politicians feel “tough on crime”— simply don’t address. Human Rights Watch similarly argues that sex offender registries divert resources that could be better spent providing prevention and victim services.

Meanwhile, child advocates argue that treatment and community support for convicted or potential offenders are much more effective at protecting victims than sex offender registries. As Alison Feigh, a child safety advocate, told Human Rights Watch, “When a sex offender succeeds in living in the community, we are all safer.” “Spencer,” a pedophile who has sought psychological help for his attraction to children and has not offended, told Slate “It doesn’t protect children to have a stigmatized group of outcasts living on the fringe of society.” While conventional wisdom would condemn even considering Spencer’s thoughts on how to prevent child sexual abuse, the existence of people who are attracted to children but who do not act on that attraction should give us hope in the potential for prevention.

Registries perpetuate myths about sexual violence.

Sex offender registries rest on fundamentally flawed ideas about sexual violence. By quarantining people who have committed sexual crimes, particularly crimes against children, proponents of registries claim to protect children from predation—with the underlying assumption that the greatest threat to children is “stranger danger.”

In contrast, as RAINN reports, and as the recent avalanche of #metoo revelations helped reinforce, most sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. Children are overwhelmingly assaulted by acquaintances (59% of reported assaults) and family members (34% of reported assaults). Considering this, the rhetoric about “stranger danger” obfuscates the real causes of sexual violence by playing on fears of the outsider rather than focusing prevention efforts on families and communities. In fact, there’s evidence that the threat of permanent punishments like lifelong sex offender registration may actually deter victims from reporting family members who have abused them.

What’s more, the existence of public registries for sexual crimes, rather than for crimes like murder, reveals a hierarchy of violence that is not ultimately supportive of survivors. There is a long, misogynistic history of tying women’s worth to our sexualities, and particular our virginities, leading to the idea that survivors of sexual violence are “impure,” “defiled,” or shameful. Historically, this led to a belief that if an “honorable” woman is raped, she may as well be socially dead. This deeply conservative belief is baked into the sex offender registry, which is justified with a rhetoric of protecting childhood innocence against evil depravity. Ironically, the same politicians who support a “tough on crime” sex offender registry are also likely to deny and minimize survivors’ diverse lived experiences of sexual violence—and sexual violence committed by members of their own ranks.

The answer to this isn’t to expand registries to other crimes, but to focus more efforts on supporting survivors in affirmative, constructive ways.

Registries violate the human rights of offenders.

Sex offender registries are based on the idea of offenders as depraved and inhuman. The truth, of course, is that as inhuman as acts of sexual violence are, perpetrators are decidedly human, and they must be treated that way.

Sex offender registries impinge upon the freedom of mobility, material security, and access to basic resources of people convicted of sex crimes even after they have completed their sentences, in a way that is unique among penalties for serious crimes. Previous offenders often end up living in poverty with little ability to earn a living, achieve stable housing, or access social support. Numerous rules placed upon people on sex offender registries, such as bans from using the internet, retroactive punishment, and some of the more onerous residency bans, have been found unconstitutional, yet these practices persist.

Sex offender registries exacerbate existing injustices, disproportionately targeting black men. One percent of black men in America are registered as sex offenders. That’s double the percentage of white men, and the result of structural racism in law enforcement.

Registries deny the transformative potential of justice.

We are feminists because we believe in the human capacity for transformation. We believe that bad things can get better; that people who do bad can do better. Without this belief, we don’t have a politics.

There is already a fairly widespread critique of sex offender registries’ inclusion of people with relatively minor or nonsexual offenses, or who were convicted as children. Children, the argument goes, should not be held eternally culpable for an action they may have committed before they were even aware of its ramifications. This critique is a good start.

A truly feminist perspective, however, would go a step farther and hold that it’s not just children or people who have committed relatively minor offenses who deserve the possibility of transformation: it is everybody.

This isn’t a pie-in-the-sky radical fantasy (though those are pretty delicious, too). Practical, treatment-based approaches to preventing sex offenders from re-perpetrating are already incorporated in some sentencing in the United States. In Germany, where laxer mandatory reporting laws allow people attracted to children to seek psychological help without triggering automatic state action, programs are available to treat pedophiles before they offend or to prevent them from reoffending.

As much as we may treat each other like trash, human beings are not garbage: we cannot be tossed aside. People banished from participation in society still have to go somewhere. We collectively choose what that “somewhere” will be: social isolation and incarceration or the possibility of a meaningful community life.

I know the withering rage that makes us want to breathe fire against our abusers, that makes us want to toss them to the bottom of the ocean or launch them to Mercury or impale them on a stake. That rage is real and right and feminist, and I’m never going to tell a survivor how to feel toward their individual abuser. At a moral and a policy level, however, we must know that our healing is, for better or worse, wrapped up in collective societal healing—and that includes the human rights of perpetrators. If we want to achieve meaningful progress around sexual violence, we must believe in meaningful accountability.

[–] lucrecia 28 points (+28|-0) Edited

We are feminists because we believe in the human capacity for transformation. We believe that bad things can get better; that people who do bad can do better. Without this belief, we don’t have a politics.

...

A truly feminist perspective, however, would go a step farther and hold that it’s not just children or people who have committed relatively minor offenses who deserve the possibility of transformation: it is everybody.

No. There are people in this world who would torture and murder you just for the novelty of it, and if you don't yet understand that, you're not ready to be writing about this. It is not feminist to ignore threats to women just because you can't fit the perpetrators into your naïve fantasy. Rehabilitation is not always possible. Your parents and teachers have done you no favours by sheltering you from this.

[–] RawSienna 14 points (+14|-0)

No. Sociopathy can’t be rehabilitated and this entire sex offender apologia makes me sick.

Not all child sex offenders are pedophiles. Many are opportunists. A growing number are porn-induced due to desensitization. They belong away from society.

[–] somegenerichandle 13 points (+13|-0)

"Won't someone please think of the sex offenders!" yesh. I don't think it's a joke though. I'm finding it hard to believe that the recurrence is only 3.5% percent.

[–] Amareldys 7 points (+7|-0)

This doesn't correlate with that data I've seen that 6% of men commit all the rapes.

[–] bellatrixbells 11 points (+11|-0)

How the fuck does metoo encourage a less punitive approach ? Did I miss something ? Everyone I know speaks of court reforms to make it possible for rapists to be held accountable.

Wtf is she talking about ?

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